STFX Soccer Academy – Prospects 2011 – Italia Tour
- The 2011 Xavier Academy Prospects return from an experience of a life time as they competed against some of the best youth footballers in the world.
- With competition in two different tournaments located in Rimini and Padova, the Prospects were in tough on the field of play however the boys competed well and were able to represent themselves and the program well with some outstanding individual performances.
Italia Tour 2011 U-14 April 18-May 2 Report
The Organizers Perspective: The Committee
Day 1 and 2
- The first day of the tour began with an arrival into the Bologna, Italy airport with a bus ride into the beautiful Rimini area where the Toreno Pecci would take place.
- After a very good supper the boys made their way to the beach for a short walk looking to get adjusted to the time zone as quickly as possible.
- The third day included a training session in the morning to prepare for the first day of the 30th edition of the Torneo Pecci.
- After a delicious lunch the boys would make their way to Milan to attend the first professional match of the tour.
- The evening game was scheduled at the San Siro in Milan with the home team AC Milan taking on Palermo. The match finished with a draw 2-2.
- Due to the long travel to and from the San Siro the boys had a sleep in but were up late morning to prepare for a team training session.
- This was the first Match day with the opponents being from the Cesena Academy in Serie A.
- Considering the difficult traveling period and adjustment to time the boys competed very hard but were unfortunate to give up a late goal when the group started to come on after making it 2-1 with a long distance strike from Francesco Saporito.
- The Prospects lost the first game 3-1.
- After a morning walk through the streets of the Igea Marina town the team prepared for the second match against the highly tournament favorite Cittadella (Serie B).
- Unfortunately the boys were in over their heads and were defeated 8-0 to the eventually tournament finalists.
- Today the team was scheduled to play a club team from Milan (GS Boys). After only losing 2-1 to Cittadella in a previous group match the coaching staff were concerned about the mental state of the boys prior to the game.
- They did a great job to overcome the loss to Cittadella however giving up a late goal in the last minute of play, the boys were defeated 2-1 in the last game of the tournament.
- John Andrew Koe Kulig scored the lone goal.
- After a morning training session and a day off from competition the group enjoyed a day in San Marino.
- Finally a couple of hours of shopping and a trip to the gelato shop for the parent volunteers.
- The day included participation in the closing ceremonies after enjoying the final match between Cittadella(serie b) and Calcio Ravenna(serie b).
- Calcio Ravenna were crowned winners with a 3-2 win in overtime.
- After the events the Propects prepared to travel to Padova for the second tournament of the trip but before stopping in Padova the group traveled to Marinallo (Ferrari town) to watch another tournament final between the English giants Manchester United U-18 versus the Empoli of the Italian Serie B league.
- The demonstration of football was outstanding and the abilities of the future professionals gave our boys a real sense of what it takes to reach the highest levels.
- A morning training session helped prepare the group for the next challenge in the 96-97 age group tournament.
- With the day off from soccer activities, the group was able to take in some touring and shopping in Venice.
- The 30 minute train ride from Padova gave the group the opportunity to experience a train ride into the center of the beautiful city Venice which also included a boat ride down the Grande Canal and some great shopping at St. Marks square.
- Game #1 against host team Juvenilla. A frustrating 2-1 loss included 3 crossbars and a goal post however the coaches could see that the players were competing much better as a group than in the previous games.
- Aymar Sigue scored the goal to tie the game but it wasn’t enough as Juvenilla scored a fantastic goal from distance to win the match.
- The second match of the tournament would really test the boys and their will to compete as they would play against the eventual Padova tournament finalists Charlton Athletic from the Division one England league.
- The more experienced and older English boys were too much for the Canadian boys to handle however even though it was an 8-2 loss, the Propects had some excellent moments keeping possession more often with some quality chances to decrease the gap.
- Aymar Sigue capitalize on a free kick deflection and a poor pass back to score two goals.
- The coaching staff had the biggest challenge in the next match trying to convince they could compete against the tournament champions Bassano(serie b).
- Probably the best first half performance in the tour had the boys down only 2-0 but the physical and age difference was a difficult to overcome.
Day 13 and 14
- The following days gave the team some time to recover from all the football and enjoy some site seeing in Padova and Florence.
- Included was last minute souvenir shopping but also the second Professional match in Florence at the Stadio Franchi between Forentina and Udinese.
- A great match in the warm sun overlooking the beautiful city finished with a Fiorentina 5-2 win.
Home sweet home!!